Hundreds of padlocks are slowly taking over the railing along El Paso’s Scenic Drive.

It’s all a part of a worldwide trend, where two lovers place a lock on a fence, gate, or a popular spot to symbolize their commitment to one another. Usually, the lock has the couples initials and the date that it was placed written on it. The key is then thrown away (many times into water) to symbolize the unbreakable bond. At Scenic Drive, some locks date back to 2014, although others look like they’ve been there much longer.

The history of the love locks date back to World War I in the Serbian resort town of Vrnjacka Banja, where a schoolmistress named Nada would meet her lover, an army officer named Relja, on the bridge where they pledged their love in the days before World War I. Relja went on to war where he found a new love and married her. Nada is said to have died of sadness and grief.

“Nada’s tale of grief inspired young couples determined not to abandon one another to begin writing their names on padlocks and chaining them to the fence of the bridge where Nada and Relja swore their devotion,” said an ABC News report from 2013. “Serb couples then sealed their promises by tossing the keys into the clear spring-like Vrnjacka River below.”


More than 6,000 miles away in El Paso, the trend is growing at Scenic Drive as the rails that lead to the bottom of the park are quickly filling up with padlocks.

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